I have a competitive nature. If you say we need at least 10 I will have 20. If you say run a mile I will run 2 (sort of, working on getting back into that kind of shape!) I am that person who has to do more, be more. This is a trait that has been passed on to my son.
He has a deep need to win. If he does not win a melt down ensues . . . yes he is 4 and melt downs are not unheard of at this age. But a complete breakdown because his cousin’s shark bit his shark first . . . . ummm yeah.
At karate one day they were playing a version of Simon Says called Ninja says. The first round my son did well he was one of the last ones out. The next round he was the second one out, complete melt down! He cried so much they brought him to me with a I think he missed you. Umm yeah, no he didn’t. He missed not winning. We hugged and counted to 20 like we do when he is upset and I asked him what happened, he said he just got out . . and he missed me.
Not being the best is difficult for him. We never emphasize winning, but he does. He needs to be in front if we are walking. He needs to win the race when running home. We tell him we love him no matter what place he comes in as long as he tries his best. We tell him sometimes we learn more from not winning than winning. We tell him if something did not work that time to try something different next time, just have fun and enjoy thinking of different ways to get what you are trying for . . . did we mention fun?!?!?!?!
After speaking with coaches and friends about this, its one of the hardest concepts to teach. I am hoping by showing him that we are still having fun even when we do not win will help him understand. Really hope this works!